(39a) Invited Speaker: Carbon Nanotube-Based Optical Sensors for Cancer Detection
The early detection of cancer could lead to vastly improved patient outcomes. We aim to quantify cancer biomarkers within the body at early disease stages, permitting detection before symptoms arise. We are developing implantable nanosensors, using the unique optical properties of carbon nanotubes, to facilitate non-invasive detection through living tissues. The near-infrared emission of carbon nanotubes exhibits sensitivity to the local environment that can be controlled via non-covalent modification of the nanotube surface. We developed new methods to use carbon nanotube emission to transduce the binding of cancer biomarkers, including microRNA and proteins. We then developed implantable devices using porous membranes to allow diffusion of cancer biomarkers to reach the nanotubes. We found that the sensors could non-invasively detect the ovarian cancer biomarker in HE4 within orthotopic models of high grade serous ovarian carcinoma. The work portends clinical translation of implantable devices for use in patients with risk factors for disease to detect disease onset, recurrence, or to monitor treatment response.